When padrón peppers come into season, they signal the winding down of summer. They cook quickly, so they are perfect for those lazy nights when you’d really rather just eat than cook. While they’re frying, you can chop up some nice cheese and sausage, open a bottle of red wine or a nice hoppy beer, and rip a hunk of bread and voila: Dinner! …with randomly very spicy peppers. Did I forget to mention that part?
I had never tasted chicken confit until a birthday dinner date at a little French bistro in Northeast Portland. Needless to say, my brain melted. I immediately began lobbying for an internship in that same kitchen. That summer, I got my foot in the door, and I came away with another notebook of wonderful recipes and a new appreciation for all things deliciously bitter. This recipe, however, is all about the slow-cooked, fatty goodness that generally comes to mind when one thinks of French cuisine.
I like my sweets to have a little tang to them. This particular ice cream is so rich from the egg yolks with just a little sour kick in each bite. It is absolutely delicious with stone fruits like pluots or apricots or summer berries, and killer when drizzled with a nice balsamic reduction and honey.
This is some slow, lazy, budget cooking. There was a chapter of my early adult diet that consisted entirely of lentils, rice, beans, and pasta with the occasional splurge on a nice block of cheese or some chicken. Luckily, these easily affordable foods are delicious and filling, and it’s easy to make a giant batch if you have an army to feed or just need to have dinner ready for yourself for the rest of the busy week.
German pancakes, or Dutch babies, are the traditional Christmas morning breakfast from my childhood. While these take a little while to bake, you only need about three minutes, one bowl, and one whisk to throw together. Depending on what you top them with, they can go either sweet or savory.
This light soup is sweet, tart, and buttery. It’s perfect with a melted cheese sandwich on a cool fall day, and not so labor-intensive that those ever-increasing cold-weather lazy feelings will keep you from getting up and making it.
This was instantly a house favorite! It’s savory and filling, and the prosciutto gives it crunch and the asparagus balances the otherwise heavy nature of the risotto. From start to finish, this dish only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and comfortably serves two. Plus, you’ll have half a bottle of Prosecco just hanging around. As Giada says in her book, this is great for a romantic, cozy night in. Kids also love risotto, and this one is light on the butter and cheese and can be as heavy as you please on the asparagus!
To finish freshman composition, I had to turn in a paper comparing and contrasting both sides of a controversial issue, with the history of the subject and two personal interviews. Most people went political, but I chose to write about mayo.
Apparently the Italians and the French still argue over whose war-captured chef slave invented the sauce. Regardless, the recipe has traveled all over the world, making all Japanese deep fried foods even more excellent. P.S. Thanks for the whole frying idea, Portugal! (Unrelated and also cool: Ketchup is Chinese. Get over it.)
I love a soup that is just as good hot as it is cold. With the unpredictable Oregon springtime weather, my lately medium-low attention span, and my busy schedule, having something quick and easy that can be served a few different ways is always nice.
Isn’t it nice to have a standby recipe that you can whip together quickly and that you nearly always have all of the ingredients for, even when there is NOTHING in your kitchen? In that respect, this one goes in my mental recipe book right next to pasta marinara and grilled cheese, but has more than just a little appeal on my “I don’t want to leave the house again” whiny sort of evenings. Got an onion? Some flour? One stray piece of bacon? A somewhat bug-eaten sage plant somewhere in the yard? The tiniest bit of heavy cream left in the carton? Zero energy left for the day? This one’s for you!
Pizza dough is even easier than no-knead bread! Making it at home will save you a ton of money. Those pre-baked shells are tasteless and expensive, and the somewhat tastier ready-to-bake doughs are outrageously expensive. (Not to mention the cost of buying a delivered pizza… and who knows what’s really in that.) You’re only four basic ingredients, ten minutes of actual work, two dirty dishes, and one floury counter top away from having a homemade pizza crust anytime. Save that extra cash and tip your beertender!
This dish is so simple, quick, easy to clean up, and delicious that it has earned its spot in my standard home dinner rotation. It’s a total crowd pleaser, too. With it, I’ve seen some very picky kids learn to love capers, so long as they’re slathered in lemon butter.
I recently became obsessed with Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam. It’s great on pulled pork sandwiches, Parmesan toast, pizza, chicken, roasted vegetables, salads, baked fruit, everything! At almost 6 bucks for an itty bitty jar, I knew I had to try and see if I could make it at home.
This was my first attempt at making up a recipe, and it turned out beautifully! I have made fig jam before, so I knew the basics, and the rest I improvised. Beginner’s luck, definitely.
A cartouche, in cooking, is a parchment paper lid. The idea is to let a little steam out and keep a little steam in, and these babies do this better than any metal or glass lid.
Ah, quiche, my time-saver breakfast. I am out the door before 5 am most mornings, and I know that I do not want to do a dish, but I also do not want to eat a bowl of sugar (I’m looking at YOU, oatmeal, you delicious, unhealthy pile of carb). If I get some protein, fruit, and vegetables into my system in the morning, I’m ready. Look at me, I can take care of my blood sugar and slack on the dishes all by my adult self!
I adore no-knead bread. It’s so cheap and easy to make… once you spend that starting cash on the baking stone. But that’s only 20 bucks–50 for a really big pretty one with a lifetime guarantee. Think of all the money you spend on bread and pizza, and how easy it is to devour a whole loaf of artisan bread before you even get home from the grocery store. You just ate five dollars! You could have instead bought enough ingredients for 20 loaves of this bread.
I am a big fan of eating without cooking. The week gets busy, and it’s nice to have a giant batch of something that I can just eat straight out of the fridge or throw into a container to take out the door. Chicken salads are a summer favorite, especially when they are heavy on crunchy fresh vegetables and nuts, with some fresh and dried fruit to add a little sweetness.
Katsudon is basically a delicious pile of rice, breaded and fried pork, onion, and sauce all stuck together with egg. It’s downright amazing. Thank you Portugal for bringing frying to Japan!